INsite Magazine

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An Interview with "Southland"'s Patrick Fischler

Patrick Fischler has played everything from Dharma employee Phil on Lost to a comedian named Jimmy on Mad Men, but these days he’s starring as “new father” to his infant daughter. His latest role is detective Kenny No-Gun on NBC’s police drama Southland, a show following the compelling work and personal lives of a group of cops in gritty Los Angeles. Southland’s second season debuts on Friday, October 23.

Patrick took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to give us his take on child stars, Kenny No-Gun and what it was like to work on the set of Lost.

By Nicole Linton

So how are you? What have you been up to lately?
Well, life is pretty quiet right now. I have a 5-week-old baby so it’s not that quiet, but I just finished up with Southland. I’ve been working a year and a half straight. I told my management I needed some time off.

Your daughter is only 5 weeks old right now, but what happens when she turns 5 and tells you she wants to be an actress?
My wife and I have talked about this, and when she’s 18 she can do whatever she wants. She can take classes then. But my wife and I both got into acting after college so we’ve been around it. I’ll absolutely support her, but I’m not going to push her to be a child star or anything like that.

What was it like working on Lost?
I was totally psyched to be on the show. My wife and I love Lost. We love it. And the cast was so welcoming, especially for a cast that has been together for so long. Sawyer and Kate were totally welcoming. I felt so lucky.

Who is your favorite person to work with? Whom are you dying to work with?
Oh man. We could talk about this all day, but there are just so many people I’d like to work with. I actually have a list of TV shows that I’m trying to get through. Lost and Mad Men were on there. As far as actors go, Jack Holloway was just amazingly kind. I worked on Something’s Gotta Give and Diane Keaton was a pleasure to work with.
It sounds like a cliché answer, but I’d really like to work with Meryl Streep.

Southland just finished up its first season. Can you tell people who didn’t get a chance to catch it a little bit more about the show and your character?
Sure. Well, it’s a detective show, but not really the typical cop-type show. I’m actually not a huge fan of cop shows. I’ve done guest spots on a lot of them. But my wife and I like shows that have on-going stories and aren’t wrapped up in one episode. That’s what is so great about Southland; there are great cases but the character’s lives continue.
I play Kenny No-Gun. He’s sort of coming out of a hard time in his life. People are taking him for granted a lot. He’s very… professional and people make fun of him for being uptight. But I think things are going to come around for him soon.
It’s really a great show, so I hope people will give it a chance. It is shot amazingly, too—kind of similar to Friday Night Lights, if you’ve ever seen that, with a shaky look.

You’ve played a lot of supporting roles. Do you enjoy playing the smaller roles, or are you hoping that Kenny No-Gun might have a bigger role next season?
I mean, I’d be lying if I said no [laughs]. I guess we’ll just have to see. The creator of the show is great. And she loves me. She started watching Mad Men after I was cast for Southland, and was like ‘you’re really good and different.’
I love the show though. If I didn’t love the show then I wouldn’t be sticking around.
That’s the fun part about being a guest on shows. You can do a lot more. I might not have had the opportunity to do Lost if I had a bigger role. And I don’t mind working two days a week. You just kind of take the good with the bad. It’s fun to be a free agent though.

Well, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. I hope it’s nicer in L.A, than it is here. It’s pouring right now!
Oh man, it’s a perfect 74 degrees here. As soon as we hang up, I’m taking my daughter and the dogs out for a walk.

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